New York is awaiting the first snide remark and first epic play in the basketball rivalry between the Nets of Brooklyn and the Knicks of Manhattan, which begins Monday in Brooklyn.
It helps that both teams have made good starts this season — well, at least the Knicks until they ran into Jeremy Lin’s team Friday night. The rivalry could be so immediate, so up close, but it needs a symbol, a cause — not the packaged noise that teams blast at the paying customers, incessantly. Something real.
It may take a while, but that’s all right. The 177 previous games between these franchises do not count. That was suburban stuff, with the Nets wandering from one leaky or dingy or soulless place to another, looking for urbanity. Now they have a home. What the relocated rivalry needs is history, and that takes time.